The International Court of Justice has ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
By a majority of 10 to four, the judges ruled that international law does not prohibit declarations of independence.
Serbia had claimed the move had violated its territorial integrity.
Kosovo officials said the judgment had removed all doubt about its status, but Serbia's president, Boris Tadic, insisted Belgrade would never recognise the secession.
The United States and many European Union countries support independence, which Russia opposes.